President Abraham Lincoln (1993)
The newly elected president, Abraham Lincoln, and his family are leaving their hometown for the journey to Washington. He bids his friends and neighbors farewell. In their life together we can see that Lincoln gains strength from his family, especially from his sons Tad and Willie. Abraham Lincoln needs all the strength he can find. His great cause-the American Union-is split asunder by civil war. But Mr. Lincoln is no ordinary man. With complete dedication to his cause, he leads his nation through its darkest hour, finding strength and solace where he can. His son Willie reads a poem to the President’s cabinet, a poem in honor of a soldier who has died for the Union cause. It is clear that the poem is a reflection of his father’s own deep commitment to preserving the Union. Abraham Lincoln struggles with the idea of abolishing slavery. His advisors ask, “How can you fight a war without attacking what started it?” But Lincoln is cautious. He knows that freeing the slaves is not without political and military risk. He is torn by a personal tragedy. His favorite son, Willie, is deathly ill. Despite the efforts of the doctors, Willie dies. Lincoln mourns his loss, believing, “He was too good for this earth.” Reflecting on the sorrow and shortness of life, Lincoln comes to know what he must do. He issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves. The war drags on and on-hundreds of thousands die. Lincoln is invited to Pennsylvania to help consecrate a military cemetery at Gettysburg. Lincoln’s short speech is a meditation on dedication to democratic principles which nobly expresses the reasons for all the bloody and costly struggle of ending civil war. There is celebration in the land when the war finally ends. But Lincoln is not to live to oversee the reunion of the nation he loved. Killed by an assassin’s bullet, Lincoln becomes yet one more martyr to the cause he served so well. His was a life of courage, faith and supreme dedication.
Genre: Animation, Biography, Short
Director: Richard Rich
Actors: Anthony De Fonte, David Kelly, Dennis Reese, Ray Porter
Duration: 30 min